XML Feed for RxPG News   Add RxPG News Headlines to My Yahoo!   Javascript Syndication for RxPG News

Research Health World General
 
  Home
 
   Health
 Aging
 Asian Health
 Events
 Fitness
 Food & Nutrition
 Happiness
 Men's Health
 Mental Health
 Occupational Health
 Parenting
 Public Health
 Sleep Hygiene
 Women's Health
 
   Healthcare
 Africa
 Australia
 Canada Healthcare
 China Healthcare
 India Healthcare
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 UK
 USA
 World Healthcare
 
   Latest Research
 Aging
 Alternative Medicine
 Anaethesia
 Biochemistry
 Biotechnology
 Cancer
 Cardiology
 Clinical Trials
 Cytology
 Dental
 Dermatology
 Embryology
 Endocrinology
 ENT
 Environment
 Epidemiology
 Gastroenterology
 Genetics
 Gynaecology
 Haematology
 Immunology
 Infectious Diseases
 Medicine
 Metabolism
 Microbiology
 Musculoskeletal
 Nephrology
 Neurosciences
 Obstetrics
 Ophthalmology
 Orthopedics
 Paediatrics
 Pathology
 Pharmacology
 Physiology
 Physiotherapy
 Psychiatry
 Radiology
 Rheumatology
 Sports Medicine
 Surgery
 Toxicology
 Urology
 
   Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
 Epidemics
 Launch
 Opinion
 Professionals
 
   Special Topics
 Ethics
 Euthanasia
 Evolution
 Feature
 Odd Medical News
 Climate
Search

Last Updated: Nov 18, 2006 - 1:55:25 PM

Ethics Channel
subscribe to Ethics newsletter

Special Topics : Ethics

   DISCUSS   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT
NHGRI Funds Assessment of Public Attitudes About Population-Based Studies on Genes and Environment
Sep 29, 2006 - 7:56:00 PM, Reviewed by: Dr. Himanshu Tyagi

“Data from the Human Genome Project, a better understanding of human genetic variation, and major advances in genetic and environmental technologies have provided an unprecedented opportunity to begin contemplating how large, population-based studies might be designed. Such research could help unravel the complex genetic and environmental factors that contribute to common diseases such as cancer and heart disease,”

 
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced it has awarded $2 million to the Genetics and Public Policy Center of the Berman Bioethics Institute at Johns Hopkins University to conduct a public discussion about future potential large U.S. population-based studies examining the roles of genes and environment in human health.

“Data from the Human Genome Project, a better understanding of human genetic variation, and major advances in genetic and environmental technologies have provided an unprecedented opportunity to begin contemplating how large, population-based studies might be designed. Such research could help unravel the complex genetic and environmental factors that contribute to common diseases such as cancer and heart disease,” said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “However, before we even think of moving forward with such a major national enterprise, it is imperative that we begin a dialogue with the American public. This grant opens the door to that discussion.”

In 2005, NHGRI, in collaboration with other NIH institutes, commissioned a group of experts in genetics, epidemiology, biostatistics, and ethical, legal, and social issues to examine the scientific rationale and the logistical and technical challenges of a large, population-based study of genes, environment and health in the United States. Such studies are already underway in several other countries. Although funding for such an endeavor has not been identified, carefully outlining and considering the goals and key design aspects of such studies was deemed of high scientific importance.

A large, population-based study likely would involve the participation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. volunteers, who would be followed for a period of many years to ascertain and quantify the major environmental and genetic contributors to common illnesses. Researchers would analyze genetic risk factors; environmental exposures, such as smoking and dietary intake; and the health-care experiences of a wide cross-section of people in the United States. The study would also provide the opportunity to dissect some of the causes of health disparities between different groups, a topic of much concern.

In October 2005, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society held a day-long discussion about the potential of large, population-based studies. The group concluded that broad-based public engagement will be essential in designing and implementing such studies, recommending that efforts begin to assess public attitudes toward this area of research.

“It is important that researchers begin working with the U.S. public now so that, in the event these projects are launched, public input and concerns about issues like patient privacy and informed consent can be incorporated into the design and implementation of such studies,” said Jean McEwen, JD, Ph.D., a program director of NHGRI’s Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Branch.

As part of its two-year, $2 million pilot project, the Washington, D.C.-based Genetics and Public Policy Center plans to obtain input on issues related to large, population-based studies through a series of focus groups in Jackson, Miss.; Kansas City, Mo.; Middletown and Philadelphia, Pa; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Portland, Oregon. In addition to the focus groups, the center will carry out a national web-based survey of 4,000 individuals and will conduct town hall meetings attended by 1,000 people in the five states. Community leaders will be interviewed as well. The grant will also be used to develop educational materials for the participants, providing them with information about large, population-based studies for the focus groups, survey, and town hall meetings.

When, or if, large, population-based studies are launched in the future, the information gathered by the pilot project on public attitudes will be used to develop larger and more targeted forms of community engagement, directed at specific communities from which any potential participants are recruited.
 

- National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI),
 

www.genome.gov

 
Subscribe to Ethics Newsletter
E-mail Address:

 

NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about NHGRI’s ELSI Research Program, see www.genome.gov/10001618 . For more information about NHGRI, see www.genome.gov .

The National Institutes of Health - "The Nation's Medical Research Agency" - includes 27 institutes and centers, and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more, visit www.nih.gov .


Related Ethics News
Regulating stem cell research
Overcoming Ethical Constraints
Drug tests on animals may be unreliable: study
Waiting For Trial Results Sometimes Unethical
NHGRI Funds Assessment of Public Attitudes About Population-Based Studies on Genes and Environment
Physicians More Likely To Disclose Medical Errors That Would Be Apparent To The Patient
Doctors inadvertently help terminally ill patients to die sooner
Intellectual property law and the protection of traditional knowledge
Conscientious objection in medicine should not be tolerated
Yale guidelines for physician interactions with pharmaceutical industry


For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

 

© Copyright 2004 onwards by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited
Contact Us